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The healthiest counties across the state, as well as nationwide, also tend to be the wealthiest, according to a new report from the University of Wisconsin, the Sacramento Bee is reporting.

“There is a plethora of research showing that, for almost any health condition you can name, persons higher on the wealth scale do better than those below them,” Dr. Stephen McCurdy, director of the UC Davis master of public health program, tells the Bee.

What there isn’t, however, is a direct link to health and money. Experts point out that a handful of things, such as better access to medicine, the ability to afford healthier foods, more leisure time to exercise, and a lower incidence of cigarette smoking may all play a part.

The three healthiest counties in California – Marin, Santa Clara, and San Benito, also rank high in per-capita income, with Marin also topping that list and Santa Clara finishing fourth. San Benito is 25th of 58 counties in the state, still in the top half.

The bottom three counties as measured by health – Trinity, Del Norte, and Siskiyou, rank 43rd, 53rd, and 36th, respectively.

San Diego, coincidentally is ranked 18th both in terms of income and overall health statistics.

Factors considered in compiling the list, available here, include incidence of premature death, residents’ drinking and smoking habits, and community access to healthy foods and medical care.

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nicolae July 5, 2012 @ 1:07 p.m.

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